What would we do without the National Association of Broadcaster? Just when it looked as if our geese were cooked, the NAB has stepped forward with revised "personal products guidelines" for TV commercials Whew!
The new regulations specify the hours in which feminine hygiene products can be advertised on the air, proscribes a "restrained and inoffensive" approach for selling underpants, and gets very specific on the matter of how laxatives may be hawked.
"Graphic representations of symptoms," the laxative guidelines say, "and/or product mechanics shall not be permitted (e.g., rain, rivers, gelatin, concrete blocks, etc)."
Concrete blocks? If we can take "the San Pedro Beach Bums," we can take concrete blocks. This NAB code really isn't very good. It doesn't speak to viewer needs. We have a better code of our own to cover all TV commercials, and we hereby submit it for NAB approval, knowing full well that anything this sensible doesn't stand a prayer.
Pork sausages shall not be allowed to sing and dance; live bulls shall not be permitted to enter bars where liquor is sold; and cats may no longer do the cha cha, unless accompanied by an adult.
The following phrases are not permitted in commercials: "Me and my," "Now there's," "A whole new way to," "Nothing artificial," and "natural."
Unnecessary violence must be avoided. Ferocious snow tires, marauding odor eaters, and agreesive scrub bubbles are forbidden.
Close-ups of dirty shirts will not be permitted and the phrase "ring around the" as applied to collars is forbidden.
Viewers shall not be given the impression that packages of gum grow on trees, that new cars come equipped with beautiful girls nor that insurance companies send out handsome middle-aged announcers to pay off claims.
Karl Malden's nose shall not appear on the scren for more than five seconds at a time.
Innuendos about deodorants that tickle, Bic's that flick and "getting stroked in the morning" shall be eliminated.
No male athlete may do autombile commercials unless it has been proven he can read and write and get dressed by himself. No female athlete may be propositioned by any product on a golf course or anyplace else.
The institution of marriage shall not be undermined by scenes in which husbands or wives attempt to pass off to one another a dandruff shampoo as a baby shampoo.
N one, especially Bess Myerson, who has ever served in an official capacity as a consumer adviser shall be allowed to appear in any television commercial. Further, all commercials for pain relievers must be accompanied by the spoken phrase. "This product may not do you any good at all."
Tollet paper shall not be squeezed, petted. played with, bandied about, or otherwise flaunted in public. Models shall not fondle automobiles.
Commercials for wine and beer that show happy people enjoying the product must also include scenes of fat old men dead drunk and lying in the gutter.
Showers and baths shall not be portrayed as wild, sensual fiestas.
The following personalities are permitted to appear in television commercials; Joe Namath, the mother of Dr. Joyce Brothers, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and Aunt Blue Bell.In fact Aunt Blue Bell is not to be permitted to appear anywhere.
Oil companies and other huge corporations are not allowed to spend more than $250 million on messages about how they are working to save money and energy and boasts of how they do not make excess profits.
Little girls shall not be showns receiving praise from their mommies and daddies for having baked something that came out of a can or a box.
Employees of airline companies, such as pilots, and mechanics, shall not be permitted to sing and dance in television commercials unless they also perform these functions in the course of their work.
So-called "real people," such as those photographed by so-called "hidden cameras" in supermarkets, shall not be permitted in television commercials. Only attractive models and actors who are obviously not real people are allowed.
There all be no network advertisements for network television shows. To fill the time left vacant by the banning of these ads, the networks can mount full-length television versions of "War and Peace," "Mobby Dick," and "Ulysses."
There are special regulations governing the advertising of fast-food establishments. Viewers shall not be led to believe that they will actually encounter such celebrities as Roy Rogers or Ronald McDonald, the well-known clown, when they visit these establishments. Nor shall they be led to expect a Philadelphia Mummers parade, an army of Donnie and Marie clones, or a sudden appearance by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and marching mand.
If a station of a network receives more than 25 letters of complaint about any commercial it must be taken off the air and thrown away. Should this regulation result in more than 90 per cent of all television commercials vanishing by tomorrow morning, then our code will have precisely served its purpose.